LPC Law Notes > Cambridge/Oxilp/College Of Law LPC Law Notes > Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Notes
Injury At Work Notes
This is a sample of our (approximately) 11 page long Injury At Work notes, which we sell as part of the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Notes collection, a Distinction package written at Cambridge/Oxilp/College Of Law in 2014 that contains (approximately) 63 pages of notes across 8 different documents.
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Injury At Work Revision
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INJURY AT WORK EMPLOYER'S LIABILITY CLAIM Structure of Exam Answer:
Start with common law negligence then consider the regulations Analyse evidence in both; explain that the same breaches are relevant for both
Step 1: IDENTIFY DEFENDANT and explain common law duty
An employer owes its employees a duty to take REASONABLE care for the employee's safety while at work This duty comprises duties to take reasonable steps to provide Wilsons & Clyde Coal Co v English 
o Competent staff o Adequate plant and equipment o A proper system of work and supervision o A safe place of work - Latimer v AEC Ltd 
These duties are non-delegable by the employer The duty is owed to each individual employee - Paris v Stepney BC
1. Duty to provide competent staff
It covers supervisors and managers as well as co-workers The guiding principle is that an employer has to think about the safety and capabilities of the workforce as a whole It is an acknowledgement that a careless worker can cause harm to a colleague and that it's the employer's responsibility to take steps to prevent this happening The duty arises when an employer knows, or ought to know, about a risk a particular worker is posing to other workers - Hudson v Ridge Manufacturing 
This could be of psychological harm too - Waters v Commission of Police 
The employee might consider the following in light of this duty: o Selection of staff - recruitment o Initial AND ongoing training o Supervision if necessary o Dismissal of employees who continue to pose a risk Duty to provide adequate plant and equipment
Adequate plant is interpreted broadly - not only heavy machinery, but also embraces basic equipment, such as light tools or even an office chair The duty is to provide something which is adequate So the duty can be breached in 2 situations: o Where employer provides plant/equipment but it is inadequate OR o Where employer does not provide all plant/equipment needed for the job Employer's Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969 s. 1(1)
If employee is injured by a defect caused by a third party, e.g. a manufacturer or supplier, the injury shall be deemed to be also attributable to the negligence of the employer if the employee can establish fault on the part of someone AND causation (fault caused injury)
Duty to provide a safe system of work
A safe system of work tends to dovetail with other duties An employer must ensure that the working environment is safe, and that the workforce is enabled to do their jobs without undue risk Employer must take reasonable steps to ensure safe system being complied with: o Training o Supervision o Observation o Reporting o Review of procedures o Record keeping o Physical layout of job o Warnings and precautions o Notices - adequacy depends on size and colour o Safety equipment o Take disciplinary action for non-compliance Duty to provide a safe workplace/premises
The employer's premises were not kept in a safe condition because…
The duty to provide safe premises is to an extent self explanatory A workplace must have adequate lighting, ventilation, electrical safeguards, pathways, corridors, signage and all the other routine aspects Here there is an overlap with the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 where the occupier owes duty to visitor to take reasonable care for safety where there are dangers due to state of premises o Employer = occupier o Employee = visitor o Employer's common law duty is more onerous than the statutory duty in 2 respects o Employer's common law duty is non-delegable
Under OLA, employer can comply with duty by delegating work to an independent contractor o Employer's common law duty applies regardless of where employees are at work - General Cleaning Contractors v Christmas
OLA only applies to premises of which employer is an occupier Breach of duty
The employer fails to meet the standard of a reasonable employer, which causes damage to the claimant (not too remote), taking into account HSE guidance and ACOPs
Step 2: [If relevant] explain vicarious liability Element 1: The worker must be employee (as opposed to an independent contractor)
The employee is employed under a contract OF service for just 1 person An independent contractor is employed under a contract FOR services to several people An employment contract exists if the following 3 conditions are satisfied - Ready-Mixed Concrete v Minister of Pensions o Employees agree that for remuneration they will provide their own work and skill in performance of some service for their employer o Employees agree, expressly/impliedly, that in the performance of that service they will be subject to another's control to a sufficient degree o The other provisions of the contract are consistent with a contract of service
Inconsistent provisions include e.g. where
Workers provide own tools Workers hire helpers
Employee takes financial risk rather than employer If an employee is on secondment who is vicariously liable?
o The employer entitled to tell employee what to do - Mersey Docks v Coggins 
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